Report: Cox to slash 100 jobs when it shutters wireless service in March

Cox Communications will cut more than 100 jobs when it finally closes down its wireless business next month, according to a report in the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

The report, which cited an unnamed source, said that engineers, product development managers and infrastructure designers will be affected by the job cuts. Cox said Kelly Williams, who has headed the company's wireless unit since Stephen Bye left to become CTO of Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) in 2011, will remain with Cox's product strategy business.

Cox spokesman Todd Smith declined to comment on the specific number of job cuts, but did confirm that some are coming. "As previously announced, our wireless strategy has changed and we must adjust our workforce to align with our new strategy," he told FierceWireless. "Our employees have done everything we have asked and for that we are thankful. We are extremely focused on making this transition as easy as possible on our employees."

In mid-November Cox stopped selling wireless service to new customers and said that it would shut off all wireless service by March 30. The decision came after Cox abandoned plans to build its own wireless network; the company has been operating as an MVNO of Sprint since November 2010 and launched wireless service in less than 50 percent of its total footprint.

Cox said in November that all of its wireless customers would receive a $150 credit on their bill for every line of wireless phone service disconnected. The company said customers could keep their wireless devices and that all early termination fees would be waived.

In December Cox agreed to sell 20 MHz of its AWS spectrum covering 28 million POPs to Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) for $315 million. The deal, which includes the option for Cox and Verizon to resell each other's services, is connected to Verizon's decision to spend $3.6 billion to buy AWS spectrum from SpectrumCo, a joint venture of cable companies Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. The deals still need to be approved by the FCC and Department of Justice.

For more:
- see this Atlanta Business Chronicle article

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